About SDEV

Who We Are

SDEV 20th Anniversary logo-FINALSouthwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to improve the environment and strengthen the economy of Southwest Detroit. We work together with residents, community organizations, government agencies, schools, businesses and industry to combat environmental issues, including: air quality, blight (illegal dumping, graffiti, abandoned homes), and incompatible land use. SDEV is funded through memberships, individual and corporate donations, and grants. SDEV’s work would not be possible without the dedication of our community volunteers.

We accomplish our mission by:

  • Collecting and disseminating information on environmental issues affecting Southwest Detroit;
  • Developing an environmentally informed and active citizenry;
  • Serving as a catalyst and resource for initiatives to improve the environment and stimulate environmentally sound economic development;
  • Identifying and expanding common ground for addressing environmental issues through reasoned dialogue

SDEV’s programs and projects include Clean Diesel and Healthy Business projects, a Healthy Homes program, and Neighborhood Beautification projects. Please visit our Programs and Services page for more information on current and past projects.

Why We Are Here
Southwest Detroit is home to 88,000 residents who have seen much change over the years. This section of Detroit has Michigan’s only oil refinery, a sewage treatment plant that serves 126 communities, the busiest border crossing between the US and Canada, three major freeways, three steel mills, a 300 acre intermodal freight yard, and oil/metal/waste processing industries.

Living among these industrial components has negatively affected the lives of the residents. SDEV works to stop these injustices and create a healthier living environment for the community.

History of SDEV
SDEV began in 1991 as a two-year project sponsored by East Michigan Environmental Council and Southwest Detroit Business Association. Its purpose was to initiate a dialogue between Southwest Detroit’s business/industrial interests and community residents. The result was a community plan which focused upon four major topics:

  • Abandoned buildings and illegal dumping
  • Air quality
  • Contaminated sites
  • Land use

In order to implement this plan Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision was incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1993. Since then, SDEV’s work has been to oversee and direct implementation of the community plan, which to this day remains a flexible “work in progress”. In 2014, SDEV was named Michigan Green Leader by the Detroit Free Press and the Southwest Detroit Business Association Community Leadership Award.



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